Checklist: 5 Preparations for an Air Quality Inspection

As air quality inspections by federal and local agencies, such as those by the U.S. EPA, are typically done without prior notice, preparing for one can be a challenge. These agencies may just show up at your facility’s door, with intent to inspect your emissions control on an individual facility, company or industry basis; there’s often no telling when, or even why, an inspection may take place.

It’s because of this that the best way to prepare for an air quality inspection is by optimizing monitoring processes universally, throughout your facility, and training your maintenance team in the best monitoring, baghouse upkeep and reporting techniques.

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An Overview of NFPA 654 and a note on recirculating air from industrial dust collectors

Planning for recirculating from a dust collector

NFPA 654 Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids provides general guidelines for combustible dust control in industry. The NFPA also has two standards that cover specific guidelines for explosion protection systems (NFPA 68) and explosion prevention systems (NFPA 69). There are also three other standards for specific industries that require slightly different (usually stricter) regulation. These include NFPA 61 that concerns agricultural facilities, NFPA 484 covering combustible metals and NFPA 664 covering woodworking facilities. 

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The Savings Opportunities Hidden in Emissions Compliance Reporting

One of the major factors that many engineers or company decision-makers often forget about compliance is how air quality control technology can also bring financial benefits to facilities, most often in the form of reduced labor, material savings and risk prevention.

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How to simplify emissions compliance reporting

Everyone's favorite job....NOT

Emissions regulations can seem daunting even just to begin reading. Many standards taking up over 100+ pages in addition to basic outlines established by Title V requirements. And it will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that some of the most onerous aspects of modern emissions regulation involve emissions compliance reporting. Non-compliance with these recording and reporting requirements frequently lead to fines in excess of those related to actual emissions excursions. 

But it's a lot of work, and dreadfully monotonous. So most folks look for ways to reduce the difficulty and complexity of compliance reporting, both to improve efficiency and avoid fines over incorrect reporting. Let’s looks at one way your plant can simplify its emissions compliance reporting. 

Use Triboelectric Monitoring as the Basis for Your CAM Plan

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Am I better or worse for having CEMS emissions data when there's a dust excursion?

Ignorance may not be bliss....

Environmental regulations have evolved over the decades becoming increasingly strict around emissions standards. As this occurs, many older industrial facilities find that it's not financially viable to invest in new pollution control technology. In some cases, exceptions have been granted to older facilities to facilitate the transition to stricter standards. This has meant that some facilities have received exemptions, often called “grandfather” exemptions from certain standards or specific requires of larger sets of emission standards. Often though, these exemptions are forfeited when any significant upgrades or modifications are made to the plant’s systems. 

For this reason, many plant decision-makers have developed the viewpoint that as long as they refuse to upgrade to newer systems they can continue to avoid compliance with new regulations.. This leads them to avoid at all costs any modification or upgrades to their emissions control systems in the mistaken belief that by doing so they will avoid difficulties (and costs) associated with complying with newer, stricter environmental standards.

This can be seen by some plants refusal to install a CEMS or BLDS for fear it will increase their risk of getting fined or sanctioned over emissions excursions. The reality however is the contrary...

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Triboelectric Ambient Fugitive Dust Monitoring — How It Works

Invisible (or barely visible) threats

When we talk about dust emissions, particulate emissions or PM 2.5/PM 10 we are usually referring to emissions that go outside from a dust collector outlet or a stack. Since these are usually the focus of any regulatory or process concerns it is usually what we default to when talking about dust issues. 

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Triboelectric Monitoring Systems and the Cement Industry

Cement is a building block industry of global progress.  Roads, buildings, bridges, factories, stadiums, airports and more - everywhere we go, and everything we do is built on cement.  And because it’s everywhere many take it for granted….but not all of us

In fact, we’re focused on the cement industry and Auburn’s triboelectric detection devices are used for many different functions in cement plants around the world.

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Why Dust Collector Maintenance Teams Should Demand Triboelectric Monitoring

With the push for efficiency demanded by the current economy many industrial plant managers press every department to find new ways to do more with less. In particular, maintenance departments frequently feel the pressure to do more with less, cutting costs but owning responsibility for the same or even increased number of systems. 

For this reason, maintenance departments look for any ways they can to cut capital costs and reduce labor costs. We know it's easy to wish for expensive equipment upgrades or new installations, but  these frequently fall far outside the budget for many facilities. 

How can maintenance departments deal with this situation? 

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Understanding Triboelectric Terminology - PM 2.5 and PM 10

Many new dust collector operators and maintenance professionals are understandably baffled when confronted with a whole new emissions compliance terminology. After all, most of their work revolves around mechanical issues, and thus the terminology and methods used to calculate and measure emissions can seem intimidating. 

To take some of the mystery out of these terms we've pulled together explanations of a couple key terms to bridge the gap between the mechanical side and the compliance side of emissions monitoring and control.  The terminology can make even a seemingly simple topic like particle size seem unnecessarily complicated with terms like PM 2.5

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Unexpected HR Consequences of Inadequate Particulate Emissions Monitoring

From "Will I be happy living there" to "Will I be safe breathing the air there?"

We spend every day working with companies to help them better monitor and manage their particulate emissions through better baghouse monitoring and control.

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